Civil War II #4 Comic Book Review/recap

Civil War II #4 – All.  Out.  War.

Civil War II #4 Comic Book Recap

Captain Marvel returns to the Triskelion.  She approaches Jennifer, who has finally woken up.  Carol is happy to see her friend, but wanted to speak to her before anyone else did.  She needs to tell Jennifer about what happened to her cousin, Bruce.  She tells him Hawkeye is being put on trial over his actions… and the verdict just came through.  She-Hulk demands to know the result… but Carol is worried, and doesn’t want to answer.

The news is unprecedented.  Clint Barton practically confessed, but today, he will leave the court a free man.  With overwhelming public support for Hawkeye and Carol, coupled with the complete collapse of Stark Industry stock value, things are looking grim for Tony.  But there’s one thing you should never, ever do – count Iron Man out of a fight.

Tony is lost.  He needs help.  He knows everyone thinks he is being overdramatic or is lashing out because of Rhodey, but he’s not.  You can’t predict the future.  It’s not written.  It hasn’t happened yet.  And Ulysses not only sees these visions, but experiences them.  There’s no way that sort of thing wouldn’t have an effect on him so Stark scanned the Inhuman’s brain.  He was hoping, deep down, that he was wrong, but he wasn’t.

civil war II hawkeye clint barton

Ulysses’ brain is like a giant computer – it takes in information and signals – measuring energy and data Stark doesn’t even know about and using it to create these visions.  They are predictions.  Accurate ones, potentially, but it’s just… guesswork.  And that scares the hell out of Tony: because it’s profiling.  By definition – Carol is acting like these visions are a matter of faith… a certainty… but they are anything but.  Meanwhile, Ulysses’ powers keep changing.  People around him are experiencing the visions more and more, and Stark is afraid of where he is going.

So, he’s gathered this group of heroes to lay it all out before them.  He wants them to tell him he is crazy.  He wants to be told he is wrong.  Because, after all these years, Tony has finally learned to listen to Steve Rogers.  Stark says he doesn’t want to ever fight like they did in the first Civil War.  Not again… but Carol… and the facts… they are forcing his hand.  Dr. Henry McCoy is able to verify that Stark’s data about Ulysses is true, so it comes down to what Carol thinks.  She says it remains pretty simple, in her eyes.  If someone came up to her, pointed out a person on the streets, and told her that person had a weapon he’s about to use – she’d check it out.

[Related: Click Here For Marvel’s Complete Civil War II Reading Order Checklist]

And really, it doesn’t matter if there’s an eighty percent chance, or even a ten percent chance that person is right, she’s going to check.  Because even if there were a ten percent chance of Thanos or any other crazy threat knocking on their door, Carol would take that chance.  Having heard enough, she gives one final warning to Tony – back off.

So Stark turns to Cap, asking if he’s being crazy.  Steve says his friend has some points.  Stark decides, one way or another, he’s going public with this information.  The people have a right to know what Carol and her band are up to.  Medusa and Black Bolt share a meaningful look with one another, but say little about all of this otherwise.

Later, at the Triskelion, SHIELD has made an arrest based on yet another vision.  This time, it’s a seemingly normal banker who is supposed to have ties to HYDRA.  However, SHIELD is having trouble finding any evidence to support this, and the woman insists she is innocent.  Worried about violating Civil Rights, Maria Hill and T’Challa want to let her go, but Carol insists that she will find – – Nightcrawler!

With that, SHIELD goes to full alert.  This is happening.  It is time.  Carol says she is going to have to arrest Tony Stark, but they won’t have to look very far… on the roof, Tony and an army of heroes wait, ready to dig their heels in.  He warned her.  Over and over, he said this was going to happen.  Carol simply calls for Stark’s arrest, which Tony finds amusing.  He points out she is badly outmatched in terms of superpowers, but, well, there’s something you should know about Danvers – she has friends all over the place.

Comic Island Civil War II 2016

Civil War II #4 Comic Book Review

Hello and welcome to Comic Island!  My name is Arden, and this is my recap, and review of Civil War II #4!

Alright guys, well, here it is, the battle is starting, the lines have been drawn.  It’s war.  It’s no secret, at this point, that I’m pretty much, mostly on board with Civil War II, and issue #4 hasn’t let me down yet.  But apparently I’m alone in really liking this series.  Actually, that’s not true, but it sure does feel that way sometimes. I hate when this happens.  Even though compared to Joey I’m comparatively pickier, and a lot of people think sometimes I’m too hard on certain comics (I’m not), it seems when it comes to big events, I can give them a bit of a pass compared to other critics.

Maybe it’s because I don’t expect the world from these things.  All I ever really want is to see some great characters go through.  Crossovers are supposed to be a treat for us fans – a fun opportunity to see our favourite characters working together to solve problems, or to see something new and different.  On those merits, the last few Marvel events have hit that mark and hit it well, in my opinion – AXIS, Secret Wars, and now, Civil War II all seem to be doing exactly what I want out of a crossover.  The only time I don’t like crossovers is when they fail to even be remotely fun or interesting.

Here’s the thing, too – even if my standards are lower for big events like this, Civil War II is exceeding all of my expectations.  I’ve seen a lot of character growth in Tony Stark, who, at this point, is pretty much the unqualified main character of this story.  The way he turns to Captain America in this issue – that’s growth.  That, 100%, is a man who has learned from his mistakes, and is coming to his friend, desperate for an alternative to war.  We can all tell what Tony is thinking here – he is just so bummed out he has to go to war with half of his friends… again.

[Related: Click Here For Marvel’s Complete Civil War II Reading Order Checklist]

And that’s one thing that makes this story so good for me – it doesn’t feel forced.  The war feels like a natural consequence of circumstance, and, however contrived those circumstances are, it is pretty compelling to me.  Yeah, Bendis did kind of sneak in a bit of stuff about profiling, and because I know… certain crowds will draw ire over this, we’re going to have to delve into this a bit further.

So, here’s the thing about profiling – it’s not always wrong, and it’s not always racial.  I know that’s going to start a whole thing, but hear me out.  Now, when we talk about airport security, I am actually against the usual system of profiling.  Why?  Because any system like that can be easily exploited.  If you wanted to smuggle something into or out of the country, your best bet wouldn’t be to seek help from somebody like this, but rather someone like this… or this.  That sort of profiling doesn’t work, so random checks make more sense, because you can’t exploit that.

Now, let’s take a different example.  Let’s say an officer is investigating a mugging.  Now two people are suspects, this man, a wealthy stock trader, and this man, who has an arrest record and works a low paying job.  Obviously, the cop should investigate the second person.  One way or another, that’s profiling, but the good kind of profiling – one that doesn’t waste time and pursues the most likely answers first.  Yes, the cop should find evidence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt and all that, but the point is that profiling isn’t inherently bad.

It just has to be applied carefully and thoughtfully.  And it turns out that’s what this story is really all about.  That’s a pretty thoughtful, carefully laid out message hidden right behind the surface of this story, and given the current political climate of the US, feels poignant but not so topical that it will be irrelevant in ten years.  Personally, I’m impressed with how well they are handling this.  I think Bendis is doing a really good job at making this issue that divides the superhero community a real issue – something in stark contrast to the first Civil War.  It’s so refreshing to have our heroes being heroes on both sides of the fence, and though I am on team Tony, I really do see where Carol’s side is coming from here.

She’s approaching this problem like an officer of the law, while Tony is looking at this thing more like a philosopher with a highly advanced robot suit.  Meanwhile, there’s a lot to like here on top of all of this.  I liked the apparent changes in She-Hulk.  That should be interesting.  I enjoyed the currently ambiguous status of the Inhumans in the war.  I like how Tony desperately went for one final olive branch, and yeah, I think it really says a lot about where his character is these days that he deferred the decision to Cap, which, as we all know, but Tony doesn’t, was like the worst thing Stark could have possibly done.

David Marquez’s art hits home for me, and his last panel here makes Carol’s team almost a hundred times more interesting than it was shaping up to be.  This was awesome, and I can’t wait for the next issue.  However, in spite of all this, it wasn’t a perfect comic.  One thing bothers me – we’re actually past the halfway point in this event and the fighting is only starting just now.  That’s by far the biggest problem with Civil War II – this whole beginning was way too drawn out for my taste.  Yes, it led to the natural division between heroes I was just complimenting the comic on, but the fact of the matter is that we just didn’t get much war in this… Civil War.

In fact, it would have been so easy to cut out most of the content from issue two, that would could have easily cut down these first four issues into three, which would have been way better for getting this story going more quickly.  In fact, it’s such an obvious change that should have been done I can’t believe the editors didn’t make Bendis do this, and I think it’s part of a sad trend these days when it comes to Bendis’ writing – I don’t think the editors tell him what he can and can’t do anymore, which leads to problems like this in his writing… all the time.  It’s an almost crippling flaw that I think will keep Civil War II from being, like, great, but it still has been entertaining, and it still gets a solid recommendation.

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